Couple remain in custody

2nd March 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 March 2007, BRUSSELS - The man from Assenede who has been accused of trying to force his pregnant girlfriend to miscarry by deliberately battering and injuring her while holding her against her will remains in custody. The court in Ghent initially decided this morning that his parents, who were arrested on suspicion of the same crimes, may be released on condition that they do not seek any contact with the victim.

2 March 2007

BRUSSELS - The man from Assenede who has been accused of trying to force his pregnant girlfriend to miscarry by deliberately battering and injuring her while holding her against her will remains in custody. The court in Ghent initially decided this morning that his parents, who were arrested on suspicion of the same crimes, may be released on condition that they do not seek any contact with the victim.

The public prosecution department in Ghent appealed this decision however and now the couple will remain in custody along with their son. The court has 15 days before it must decide again whether to extend their detention.

The family assaulted the son's pregnant girlfriend, a 29-year-old woman of Moroccan descent, for hours last week in an attempt to end her pregnancy. They locked the woman up in their home in Bassevelde, a submunicipality of Assenede and battered her repeatedly, even using an electric cattle prod on her at one point, the woman claims. The woman managed to escape and go to the police on Sunday.

The foetus remained unharmed. The victim's lawyer, Abderrahim Lahlali, maintains that the three were motivated by racism in their attempts to force the woman to miscarry. The man's parents reportedly did not want a half-Moroccan grandchild.

Walter Van Steenbrugge, the lawyer representing the 29-year-old man, denies this. The family members have confessed that they tried to end the pregnancy. The defence says they did so because they felt the child would have no chance of a future in the unstable relationship between the son and his girlfriend.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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